Demand Open Visitations for Owners with Hank at Shelter
In April of 2016 a Pitbull mix dog Hank (then named Tank & owned by someone else) was on a neighbor's property playing with their pet goats (he had been raised around goats and loved them) when his Pitbull mix mother entered the property, charged, attacked and killed the goats and injured a pony (the “act”).
Hank was in the vicinity at the time of the act, but dashboard cam captured video at the time of the act which proves Hank was not involved. Witnesses testified that Hank did not participate and had no blood on him after the act. There is a photo of Hank sitting in the police car 30 minutes after the attack that shows no blood on his muzzle (he is a light fawn & white color).
The initial finding was of guilt, the owner didn't testify on his behalf (falsely assuming he would be found innocent), they had actually whisked the mother out of state after the act, knowing she was guilty, so she was not available to face charges. The Owner of the livestock determined after discovering the video some time later that Hank was innocent and subsequently changed his statement, and testified that he does not want the dog killed, and refuses to press charges.
In spite of all this, Lewis County District Court Judge Buzzard refused to consider new evidence, ruled that Hank was a “dangerous” animal and as such had to be euthanized. When the prosecuting attorney Jonathan Meyer learned the dog had not been killed (from a ruling prior to the adoption), and had actually been adopted, he took steps to have law enforcement officers apprehend the dog, and have him killed.
On May 9, 2017 a knock on the new owner's door would change their lives forever. The owners and their 9 year old grandson were suddenly confronted by detectives who took their dog, telling them he had been declared dangerous, and would be killed. They were confused, overwhelmed, and consulted an attorney and ultimately hired a lawyer to fight this injustice.
The family who adopted Hank on January 17, 2017, without knowing this history, has steadfastly fought to prove his innocence and get him released back into their care. They witnessed nothing but a loving dog during the months he lived happily with them, even though he had been in a shelter for months before the adoption (frequently shelter dogs have need time to decompress due to their traumatic experience).
They visit him now daily, behind bars, and they have spent thousands fighting for Hank’s return without the “dangerous dog” label. (This case is still on appeal.) From May 9, 2017 until the present time Hank has remained incarcerated at the Lewis County Animal Control Shelter in isolation. He is not exercised, and only allowed visitation by the family through the chain-link bars that are his prison. He doesn't know what he supposedly did, why he was taken away from his family and remains in prison.
They have repeatedly begged to have open visitation with their beloved dog, no reasons were given, they were simply denied. At one point they were told he could bite them. They said if that were really a concern, they had no problem signing a waiver holding no one responsible if that were to occur, which is highly unlikely. At time of this writing, it has been going on 5 months Hank that has been held without cause, without a party pressing charges, all a vendetta by the prosecutor and the judge to see their request he be killed fulfilled. This is so wrong. A witch hunt!
Please sign this petition asking that the family not be denied proper visitation. They see him every day without fail, always through bars. The young master is losing faith in the system, at 9 he doesn't understand why he can't hug and play with his dog, and his experience with his first pet is a tragedy that will surely scar him for life.
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Update #19 months ago
New picture on this petition is Hank sitting in police car 30 minutes after 2 goats were attacked and killed, a very bloody kill. See any blood on him? Neither do we! Sign the petition, comment, let your voices be heard. They want to execute him the 18th and he's innocent!